Marvel released The Punisher season 2 in January 2019 - but demand was still higher for their Daredevil series. The partnership between Marvel Television and Netflix has led to a whole slate of popular and critically-acclaimed superhero shows, and it's always been believed Daredevil and The Punisher are the two strongest brands among them. The Man Without Fear and Marvel's most lethal antihero have a level of brand recognition that the likes of Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist simply can't aspire to.
Both Daredevil and the Punisher resonate strongly with the public consciousness. In the case of Daredevil, it's a result of years' worth of iconic comics and cameo appearances in numerous popular Marvel superhero animated shows; while the 2003 Daredevil movie was hardly a success, it nevertheless meant average moviegoers had a general awareness of the character even before the launch of the MCU. Meanwhile, the Punisher is known worldwide for his brutality as well as his personal mission to wiping out the bad guys. In theory, then, these latest two Marvel Netflix shows should be among the most popular - and the release of The Punisher season 2 should have been particularly important. But that wasn't necessarily the case, at least not exactly.
Streaming services like Netflix keep their viewing figures a closely-guarded secret, which means it's down to third party analytics firms to shed a little light on how different shows are performing. Screen Rant has spoken exclusively to Parrot Analytics, who believe they offer the most accurate measure of demand for TV worldwide, and they've revealed that demand for Daredevil continued to outstrip The Punisher in January 2019, in spite of the release of The Punisher season 2. Here's the top 10 digital originals in the United States for January:
- Stranger Things
- Young Justice
- Black Mirror
- The Punisher
- Star Trek: Discovery
- The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Six of the top 10 are Netflix Originals, with CBS All Access and Amazon Prime getting just one slot each. The DC Universe streaming service only has two original series on it at the moment - Titans and Young Justice - and both are at the top of the list. But the really interesting fact is that demand for Daredevil is still higher than demand for The Punisher. Sadly, this doesn't bode well for The Punisher; the relationship between Marvel Television and the streaming giant seems to be coming to an end, with Netflix having already canceled Daredevil after season 3. It's reasonable to assume The Punisher will share the same fate.
Daredevil was the flagship Marvel Netflix series, wowing viewers and critics alike. It boasted a top-quality cast, including Charlie Cox as Daredevil, Vincent D'Onofrio as the Kingpin, Elden Henson as Foggy Nelson, and Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page. The dynamic between the stars was absolutely electric, while Daredevil season 3 finally introduced the assassin Bullseye. Marvel clearly created a phenomenally strong brand, one that continues to perform well months after season 3 was released, and in spite of the fact viewers know it has now been canceled. The Punisher couldn't compete, even though season 2 released on Netflix in January, boosting demand.
All this isn't to suggest The Punisher is a failure, of course; far from it. The Punisher is still one of the top 10 digital originals in January 2019, which is a real achievement given the sheer range of content released on all the different streaming services. Jon Bernthal's Punisher has become every bit as iconic as Charlie Cox's Daredevil, and it's to be hoped both actors find a way to continue their roles going forwards.